Finding Fulfillment in Following God

I have been trying to stay out of all this politics garbage because of all the beloved friends I have on both sides of the issue. I have felt the pain of women dear to my heart as they confessed to me that felt they had to no choice but to make decisions they try not to regret. I am also a mother who sees every day the beauty of the life of my children. I have personally experienced my own capacity for love grow to lengths I didn’t know were possible because of them. I am pro-love. I am pro-life. I am pro-woman. And I am so sick of all the fighting, bickering, bantering, arguing, attacking, and defensiveness. I am sick of everyone trying to be right and prove everyone else wrong… I can no longer hold back.

I am firmly convinced that all this fighting is just everyone’s desperate plea to be seen. Seen and appreciated, seen and understood, seen and loved. Everyone talks about loving, and so few are truly able to put it into practice. There are signs saying “I stand with both” which are so close to being the best thing that ever happened in all of this mess, but in the context of all the fighting, all anyone sees is another pro-life, “Anti-THEM”, sign to shove in their face. It’s easy to walk in a march with tons of like minded individuals and demand justice, but its not as easy to practice what we preach. Yes, I know that many of us do, and thank God for you, but it is equally true that SOOO many don’t. We love to be on our high horse and tell people the “what for” and then hide away til next year silently judging all the people who refused to change. But, how many of us are actually willing to put ourselves in the shoes of a hurting mother, a terrified girl who doesn’t hate her child but genuinely doesn’t know what else to do? How many of us are aware that so many abortions happen because mothers are afraid that they won’t be able to give their child the life they deserve? How many lost little girls look to their parents, boyfriends or mentors for help and are counseled that this would be the best decision? How many newly expectant mothers find themselves in the thick of hormone imbalance and morning sickness and see abortion as the only way out? How many girls from “good families” choose this path because they can’t face the shame of not “living up” to the expectations they grew up with? How many mothers choose abortion because they can’t bear to see the thousands of mistreated orphan and foster children who cannot find good homes? What about mothers with addictions who can only see the catastrophic toll of children who are born already suffering withdrawals because of parents in similar situations?  What about mothers who simply can’t imagine bringing a child into an abusive situation or simply don’t know how to cope with the stress, hormones and fear of the unknown when they feel themselves so desperately alone?

The point is all women, even GOOD women, feel shame, desperation, loneliness, fear and regret. When was the last time you remembered St. Augustine’s words “There, but for the grace of God go I”? Even myself, a mother of 3, pregnant with number 4, while I never considered an abortion, up until 3 weeks ago I thought I would literally rather die than go through labor again or try to take 4 toddlers to the grocery store or listen to all four of them scream at me at the same time… but you cannot know that all that fear can change in an instant if you have never experienced it (see my post on Love and Fear). As pro-life people who have probably had many children of our own, we already know the miracle of life.  We have already seen the fact that a child is never a curse, if we are only willing to let go of ourselves long enough to fall in love. We already know they beauty of watching our plans change and our hearts grow exponentially. These women have never experienced that. No one makes a decision because they are trying to do something bad, only because they see some “good” that they feel “outweighs” the negatives (see post on Longing).

There are so many women who have never known their true capacity for love. They don’t know that we can do the impossible for love, all they can see is the impossible.  They don’t know hope. There are so many who have never seen a good example in real life or had someone to love them like they know their child deserves to be loved. They don’t think they are capable. They don’t need to be put down any more. They need to be SEEN. They don’t need some self righteous person who’s “never made a mistake” telling them what to do. They don’t see us as someone who can relate, someone who is willing to listen, someone who can look at them straight in the face and LOVE THEM. Yes, they know we claim to love their child, but sometimes that can make the pain even worse, that we see the person who is “invisible”, but not the one right in front of our face.  We are “horrified” by them and by the fact that they would even consider “stooping” so low…. and so they go through with it, just to show us that they can.

Yes, there are abortions for purely selfish reasons.  Yes, there are abortions because women look at the child in their womb as a mere stumbling block to their plans and something to be resented.  Yes, there are abortions that are calculated and calloused. Yes, the laws should be changed to protect those children from an unfair death and to raise awareness of the genuine implications of the decision to “terminate pregnancy”. But, really, no law is going to change whether or not those abortions happen, the only thing that can change abortion is for women to come back to the heart of what it means to be a woman, the fact that we are made to love a love that goes beyond ourselves. [tweetshareinline tweet=”We are made to love a love that goes beyond ourselves.” username=”CarolynMPereira”] A love that can completely forget self without even trying and simply has no where else to go but explode out of us and give life to everything it touches. No woman can know that such love even exists unless she has seen it and felt it. It is our job to show that love, to BE that love.

We can’t change hearts with words or laws. We can’t change fears with reprimands.  We can’t change this country with protests and signs (although, as far as providing awareness, they don’t necessarily have to hurt). We can’t change the fates of the children or women we claim to want to help by lecturing or scaring them.  We only have control over one person, and that person is ourselves. Will we choose to love today? Will we choose to be there for anyone who needs us and not worry about whether we somehow “changed” them? Will we stop thinking about ourselves for two seconds and how important we are in making a change, and just be a shoulder? just listen? just CARE? This country is hurting. People are hurting. Women are hurting.  DO YOU SEE THEM? or are your “good intentions” standing in the way?

[tweetshare tweet=”We only have control over one person, and that person is ourselves. Will we choose to love today?” username=”CarolynMPereira”]

(Also, read To Every Woman Who Feels Alone….)

#Togetherinthetrenches #ParticularlyCALLED

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